Friday, 18 January 2013

The island reveals its treasures

After several nights searching the remaining primary rainforest of the Isle of Pines thoroughly, we finally found some remarkable geckos.

Remaining patch of primary rainforest in the background.

We scouted the rainforest by daytime and the habitat seemed to be perfect for the Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus) because of the many lianas and lower bushes where these animals are reported to hunt at nighttime. But the many higher and mature trees of the forest made it the ideal habitat for two other members of  New Caledonian diplodactylids.

Low rainforest on the western side of the isle of Pines with lower bushed and mature trees. 

Mature tree in rainforest of the Isle of Pines, the habitat of the mossy geckos (Mniarogekko chahoua) and leachies (Rhacodactylus leachianus).

At night, on of the first geckos to be discovered was Rhacodactylus leachianus. The New Caledonian Giant Gecko or Leach's Giant Gecko, is the largest species of gecko on the Isle of Pines and used to be a subspecies (Rhacodactylus leachianus henkeli). It is often commonly referred to as a Leachie gecko (plural Leachies). It is the largest extant gecko in the world. 

First Rhacodactylus leachianus spotted high in the trees is an adult female.

To be continued...


  1. The genus of cresties and mossies is RHACODACTYLUS!

  2. Hi Avi,

    Thanks for your message, but please note that the genus has been changed to "Mniarogekko" for mossies and to "Correlophus" for cresties last year. See the article below.

    BAUER, AARON M.; TODD R. JACKMAN, ROSS A. SADLIER & ANTHONY H. WHITAKER 2012. Revision of the giant geckos of New Caledonia (Reptilia: Diplodactylidae: Rhacodactylus). Zootaxa 3404: 1–52


    Emmanuel Van Heygen